“Wear fabulous jewelry,” said the invitation to the Museum of Arts and Design’s annual exhibition LOOT: MAD About Jewelry and Opening Benefit sponsored by Paolo Costagli. If you didn’t walk in with a statement piece, not to worry. You could certainly have walked out with one. “It’s the only museum in America that has a permanent jewelry gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary and modern jewelry,” Curator Bryna Pomp explained. “Once a year we hold an event called LOOT which is an exhibition and sale of studio and art jewelry.”
LOOT 2017’s Honorary Chair Dame Zandra Rhodes was joined by friends John Waters, (Zandra was a dear friend of Divine’s, he told us), Daphne Guinness, Anna Sui, Iris Apfel, and Patricia Cleveland at the gala. It started with cocktails and serious shopping and adjoined to the penthouse Robert restaurant for an elegant meal. Barbara Tober and Michele Cohen were Honorary Chairs, and Dinner Co-Chairs with Iris Apfel, Corice Arman, Michele Ateyeh, Noreen Buckfire, Marian C. Burke, Kathy Chazen, Paolo Costagli, Joan Hornig, Ann Kaplan, Judith Leiber, Shari Siadat Loeffler, Liz Swig, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, and Barbara Waldman. Estate jeweler Camilla Dietz Bergeron, Same Sky founder Francine LeFrak and jewelry designer and Unleashed founder Kara Ross were honored.
Guests included: Corice Arman, Michele Ateyeh, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Joanne Brecker, Noreen Buckfire, Kathy Chazen, Liliana Cavendish, Martin Cohen, Patti Dweck, Michael Dweck, Rick Freidberg, Marjorie Reed Gordon, Joan Hornig, Ann Kaplan, Shari Siadat Loeffler, Sharon Handler Loeb, Mary McFadden, Linda Plattus, Paul von Ravenstein, Stephen Ross, Daryl Roth, Dame Jillian Sackler, Jean Shafiroff, Shannon Stratton, Barbara and Donald Tober, and Barbara Waldman.
“The Museum of Arts and Design at 2 Columbus Circle really looks to the future of craft,” Bryna Pomp, who has served as curator for the past seven years, told us. “And one of the major collections here at MAD (how we refer to the museum) is jewelry.” Pomp began her long career in fashion jewelry when she was first “randomly assigned” to that field at her Federated Department Store executive training program.
Getting into MAD LOOT is extremely competitive. “I look at close to 5,000 artists every year to pick the 50 that I will invite,” Pomp said. She spends her days looking at jewelry portfolios and traveling around the world to better source talent. “I look for three things: brilliant usage of materials, excellence in design and meticulous craftsmanship. I find that in the low end of the market and the high end.”
Sporting one of the statement pieces on sale and flawless skin, she concluded: “And I never wear makeup. This is my make up!”
For more information about the Museum of Arts and Design, visit madmuseum.org.